I’ve Developed Severe TV Watching ADD

When the TIVO came out I thought I died and went to heaven. Not only did it record my favorite shows regularly, but I then could watch the shows without commercials. The 30 minute shows only took about 17 minutes to watch. When time is precious, this is a valuable thing.

Somewhere along the line, I transitioned to a DVR, and I also developed a full blown case of Television Watching ADD. I am down to watching only one or two sitcoms, one drama and several reality shows a week. They all take me a combined total of 3 hours of weekly television viewing, which fits my schedule perfectly. Normally they would account for around 8 hours of viewing time.

I am most proud that I can watch a 2 hour reality show in 30 minutes. Yeah, that’s how good I am at fast forward viewing.

It’s great except for one thing. I find I can no longer watch a favorite show like Dancing with the Stars or American Idol and just watch the DVR playback minus commercials. No, I have developed ADD or Schpilkas as my friend Barbara recently pointed out that the condition was called in the old days.

So instead of watching Idol in its entirety, remote in hand, I fast forward through the talking, chatting, interviews, packages, entertainment if I am not into it, and key in on the actual singing performances. I can watch a 90 minute episode in 20 minutes or less.

Same for Dancing. I fast foward through the banter, goofy packages, and just play the actual dances. I don’t even listen to the judges’ inane comments, but speed up just to see the scores on the paddles.

I find it increasingly difficult to watch a regular television program in real time and in its entirety. Is that a problem? I wouldn’t know what a complete  episode of Idol even looks like anymore. In addition, I am watching less and less sitcoms because (well, truth be told, I don’t find them so funny) but mostly because I don’t have the patience to sit through all the dialogue and watch the show.  It has to be really good to be worth doing that. (Modern Family, anyone)

The only exception will be Mad Men. When it returns, I will watch every second minus commercials. I used to feel that way about Desperate Housewives, but I can view that in 15 minutes by fast forwarding past Susan’s scenes and Bree’s too.

I blame it on the manufacturers of DVR devices, but it’s mostly good from my vantage point. I can read a good book in all the free time I now have remaining in a week.

Has anyone else developed TV ADD like me?


  • Wow, can I relate!! We DVR everything, even the news! I’d give up all modern conveniences, before I would give up the DVR! Like you said, whiz through all the stupid banter, commercials, etc. Plus, since we’ve gotten older, the DVR is a lifesaver for going back, because we couldn’t hear something!

  • You should try “Cougar Town” once they change the title. (Supposedly to “Friends With Beverages”) It’s like “Scrubs” at its best..as funny as “Modern Family.” I am addicted to entertainment news, which I can watch in under 8 minutes thanks to the DVR.

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